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Belleville fire prevention officer reminds people to check their smoke alarms

By Jack Carver

A working smoke alarm is the difference between life and death, senior fire prevention officer Dave MacMullen says.

“Working smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms make the difference between fatalities and survivals,” said MacMullen.

MacMullen’s reminder stems from an apartment fire in downtown Belleville earlier this week.

Due to a misplaced cigarette, a working fire started in apartment 302 on 294 Front Street. If the smoking alarm had not gone off, the man inside would have died, said MacMullen.

“He’s alive today because of it (smoke alarm),” said MacMullen. “If he didn’t have that working smoke alarm it would have been fatal. He would have died from smoke inhalation.”

MacMullen says that the main reason smoke alarms don’t work is from negligence on the landlords and houseowners part. Checking your smoke alarm monthly isn’t hard as long as you make it part of your schedule.

“Make it a way of life, put something on your calendar, some sort of reminder. Build it into your way of living. All it takes is one push of the button to make sure it’s working and if its not working, find out why or change the battery. Do something that provides a network of safety for your family or for yourself.”